Patriots training camp Day 6 observations: McWilson shines, Ty Montgomery makes case for roster spot

Foxboro, Mass. — Patriots training camp is underway with a second day of fully-paid practice. As has been the case for a large majority of camp, the defense has continued to hold strong and provide some headaches for the offense. That said, there have been some highlights from the group, particularly at the wide receiver position in contested catch situations.

Below, you’ll find all the latest highlights from Day 6 of Pats camp.

Big day for the linebackers

As we noted in the introduction, it’s been a strong start to camp for the Patriots defense. On Tuesday, the linebackers really stood out with several eye-popping plays. In particular, veteran linebacker Mack Wilson — who was acquired this offseason in a trade with the Cleveland Browns that included pass rusher Chase Winovich — was arguably the best of the bunch and made plays all over the field. had been.

During the opening round of 11-on-11s, Wilson had a leaping pass breakup on a throw to rookie Bailey Zappé. He also had a “sack” on Mack Jones in another set of contested drills coming from the left side of the line. Perhaps his best play of the day came in the final set of 11 when the team was working in the red zone with music playing through speakers to simulate a loud environment. There, he hit running back JJ Taylor with the fastest hit of the day.

Elsewhere at the linebacker spot, Matt Juden and Ja’Von Bentley were both able to force Jones out of the pocket during 11-on-11s and potentially register a sack if they were able to zero in on the quarterback. would take Rayquon McMillan also filled in for Damien Harris in the backfield.

Defensive line disruptors

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And it wasn’t just the linebackers making noise Tuesday as the defensive line also turned in a handful of impactful plays. Lawrence Guy defeated Isaiah Wynn with 11 on 11 reps. Henry Anderson also made his mark that day. During one session, he came in with pressure and forced McJones to throw the ball. Later, he batted down a ball thrown by Jones at the line of scrimmage.

Brilliant catches by Thornton, Agholor

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While defense may have won the day, there were some nice flashes from some of the offensive skill position players. Rookie Tyquan Thornton continued his solid start to camp and made a ridiculous one-handed catch in 1-on-1 drills. He was tackled by starting corner Jalen Mills and broke his body to lean back and make an over-the-shoulder catch. Even Mills wasn’t fazed by the reception and gave the second-round pick a standing ovation after the game.

“I think Ty is a hard worker,” McJones said after practice. “He’s really starting to understand some of the things we’re doing and getting open. He obviously has the speed to get open, and we have a great group of guys and we need to spread the ball to them. Required.”

Later, fellow receiver Nelson Agholor got in on the action with some outstanding catches. During the same 1-on-1 drills where Thornton made his catch, Aguilar caught a ball that was absolutely impressive. He was tackled by corner Jujuan Williams and blocked it with his left arm while bringing the football in with his right in mid-air. Agholor also had another strong catch during 11-on-11s, but Jones likely would have been ejected from the game if it had been a real game. Still, it was a strong day for some Patriots deep threats.

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What does Bill Belichick like? With versatility in mind, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine veteran receiver/running back Ty Montgomery not making the 53-man roster. While Montgomery is listed as a wideout, New England has used him in versatile ways in camp during competitive practices. He’s run the ball, lined up in the slot, and worked the spread, reminiscent of when Cordarrelle Patterson was with the team in 2018. Montgomery has also gotten some reps as a returner.

This ability to wear multiple hats is a great way to endear Belichick and play his role on the Week 1 roster.

How did the QBs perform?

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The offense seems to be going through some growing pains and the quarterbacks have been under siege at times during camp. That continued Tuesday as both quarterbacks were forced out of the pocket and fumbled on more than one occasion.

“I think we have a lot of room to grow here,” McJones said after practice. “The goal for me is not to run and throw the ball, I think our offensive line is doing a good job, and we just have to get on the same page.”

During 11-on-11s, Jones was 6 of 11 and completed all eight of his attempts during 7-on-7s. While Jones was perfect during the 7s, most of those passes were high-percentage throws in the flat. Meanwhile, Bailey Zappé was 5 of 7 in 7-on-7s and 9 of 12 in 11-on-11s.


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The newest member of the Patriots missing in action Tuesday was tight end Dalton Cain. Quarterback Brian Hoyer, running back James White, and guards Chasen Hines and Andrew Stober were also absent. Pass rusher Dietrich Wise was there, but it worked.

As it relates to Hoyer, Bill Belichick said he expects the quarterback to return to practice “pretty soon.”